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We are creatures for whom difficulty in understanding who we are constitutes who we are. This is not the difficulty of hard-to-discover facts. Nor is it the difficulty of a ‘pure’ conceptual investigation. It is a weird difficulty internal to our attempts to understand ourselves as having lives. And, in trying to face the difficulty – or in avoiding it – we shape our lives.

Jonathan Lear
Jonathan Lear

Jonathan Lear will hold the Spinoza Chair of the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities in the second term of the academic year 2015-2016.

Lecture 1 Ironic Anthropos

The first lecture, Thursday 10 March 2016, will take place in the Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Oude Lutherse Kerk, Singel 411 (corner Spui), Amsterdam.

Lecture 2 The Unconscious and the Meaning of Life

The second lecture, Thursday 24 March 2016, will take place in the Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231, Amsterdam.

The halls are open from 19.30h and admission is free (no reservation required). Start of the lectures: 20.15h. The lectures will be given in English.


The Spinoza Lectures are given by high-profile thinkers of our time. They are intended for a wide audience that would like to keep abreast of current developments in philosophy.